Guidance on the consultation process we must follow before carrying out certain works that residents need to pay for as part of a service charge or one-off invoice. This includes information about the stages of a Section 20 consultation and how it works.

How Section 20 Consultation works

We're required, by law, to carry out formal consultation with leaseholders when we’re going to carry out repair, replacement or renewal works to your home or block and the cost is likely to exceed £250 per household.

The type of work can be anything from painting the communal walls to a full roof replacement, but the trigger for consultation will only be if the work will cost more than £250 per household.

For example, if a block of ten flats is due to have external decorations carried out and the likely cost is going to be £3,000, we would need to carry out a consultation as the cost per home will be £300.

We must also consult with you if we're planning to enter a long-term contract for day-to-day services. For example, grounds maintenance, communal cleaning or lift servicing.

The trigger for consultation for these types of contracts is where the costs would exceed £100 per year.

Stages of a Section 20 Consultation

Stage one

The first notice – ‘Notice of Intention’ – is simply to advise you of the type of work we are planning to carry out and to ask if you wish to nominate your own contractor to carry out the works (if the contract is not subject to public notice). 

You'll have a minimum of 30 days in which to make comments on this notice.

Stage two

The second notice – ‘Statement of Estimates’ – will advise you on the contractors we've managed to get quotations from, and the likely cost of the works.

You'll have a further minimum of 30 days in which to make comments to us regarding the costs or works.

Further notices

Sometimes we have to serve a third notice, but this is only necessary if we haven’t chosen the lowest quotation or the contractor we've chosen isn’t one that a resident may have nominated.

There are other types of notice that we sometimes serve. For example, where major works are carried out under a long-term agreement.

How to take part in the consultation

You have the right to give us your views and comments on the plans during a consultation period. Each ‘observation period’ lasts for a minimum of 30 days.

We must take note of any comments it receives and carefully consider the comments and suggestions about the works or the long-term agreement.

In some circumstances, you'll have the right to suggest a person, firm or contractor who you would like to tender for the work or long-term agreement. This does not apply to those schedules where we must give a public notice.

The only real difference with these types of contracts is that you're not able to nominate your own contractor – but the works are advertised using the government's ‘Find A Tender’ service, so in effect, they are open to anyone to apply.

Help with a Section 20 Consultation

The information provided on this page is a brief guide to Section 20. You should always think about getting legal advice if you are unsure about your rights and obligations.

For more information about the Section 20 Consultation process, please email our Section 20 team.

You can also read our full guide to Section 20 Consultation (PDF).